Category Archives: Most Wanted List

Teen Drivers: Don’t Take Your Return to the Road for Granted

By: Nicholas Worrell, Chief, Office of Safety Advocacy

We recently announced the launch of a new #SafetyReminder campaign to provide the traveling public with a few friendly reminders as unprecedented stay-at-home restrictions are eased and we slowly resume air, rail, road, and marine travel.

During this return to “normalcy,” we’re especially concerned about young drivers. That’s why we partnered with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) to host a virtual get together to reach out to teen drivers and their parents.

It’s an understatement to say that 2020’s young drivers have seen a lot in a short time. Like the rest of us, teens have done their part to slow the spread of the coronavirus through self-quarantine, protecting both themselves and others. Now that the country is slowly reopening, it’s time to return our focus to what’s most deadly to young drivers and their peers. It’s time to think not only about socially distancing ourselves, but also about isolating our cars from hazards like vulnerable road users, roadside obstacles, and even other cars. It’s time for a reminder about the biggest threat to teens’ lives: traffic crashes.

Parents have always passed the car keys to the next generation with trembling hands, and for good reason. Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for every age group between 1 and 44. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of fatal injury for people between the ages of 15 and 44. So, when it’s time to return to the road, we all need to be aware of the “danger zones” for young drivers:

  1. Inexperience
  2. Driving with teen passengers
  3. Nighttime driving
  4. Not using seat belts
  5. Distraction
  6. Drowsiness
  7. Impairment
  8. Reckless driving

Although it’s good for young drivers—and their parents—to refresh their knowledge of all the danger zones, they should be aware that our recent isolation may have increased risk in certain danger zone categories. For example, stay-at-home orders have hampered new drivers’ ability to gain experience and start to internalize many of the actions that will become second nature with more time behind the wheel. Any skills even the most seasoned driver had before lockdown will be rusty; that’s compounded for new drivers who have had far less time to practice behind the wheel. Beyond that, young drivers may not weigh risk as carefully as their adult counterparts, and the excitement of getting back on the road may easily manifest as risky behavior.

Here’s another consideration that teens and their parents might overlook: driving with teen passengers not only makes it harder for teen drivers to keep their concentration on the road, but it also flies in the face of social distancing. We understand that it’s been a long time since we’ve gotten together with people outside our homes, and teen drivers are probably the most eager of anyone to reunite with their friends. But reunions don’t belong in the same car, where distraction can be as contagious as a virus. Nothing good is going to come from getting behind the wheel if those reunions involve illegal use of alcohol or other drugs, or they go late into the night, or a driver is running on little sleep.

While distraction from passengers is one risk to avoid, driving while distracted by personal electronic devices—which was deadly before the pandemic—is potentially even deadlier now, given how accustomed we’ve become to practicing virtual contact. The always-connected world that helped us be resilient during this isolating time can also make us vulnerable to danger if we continue that constant connection while behind the wheel. No call, no text, no update, is worth a human life.

Even age-old risky behaviors, like speeding, that have always been a pitfall for young drivers pose an increased danger following isolation. The roads have been emptier for months, and some drivers have taken advantage, driving unimpeded at breakneck speed. Even on nearly empty roads, drivers need to leave the lead foot at home and keep an eye out for those who treat the less-crowded roads like their personal speedways. Most importantly, drivers need to make sure they—and their passengers—are always using seat belts, in case the high-risk driver in the next lane makes a bad decision.

Teens, for all your admirable resilience in the face of today’s challenges, you are still our most vulnerable and inexperienced road users. You’re going to be a great generation of adults before long; let us help make sure you make it there.

Parents and guardians, don’t send your teens back out on the road unprepared. Talk to your teens about the key components of driving and set the example for safe driving. A study by Liberty Mutual and SADD found that parents are setting a poor example for teens by engaging in unsafe driving behaviors, such as texting and driving, and are not listening to their kids’ warnings. Forty-one percent of teens say their parents continue these unsafe behaviors even after their teens ask them to stop, and 28 percent of teens say their parents justify unsafe behavior.  Take a moment to consider how to keep your young drivers safe, how to help them make good choices, and what example you’re setting. Take time to outline the key risks of driving. If you need a reminder, visit the websites of expert organizations like NHTSA and the CDC. And remember: your example is the most powerful instructor. Teens learn by example.

It’s been said that insisting on one’s rights without accepting one’s responsibilities is not freedom but adolescence. As somebody who works in youth safety outreach, I assure you, that’s an insult to today’s adolescents, who have used their voices and actions to demonstrate that they understand the role of conscience, mindfulness, and selfless service. I have no doubt this resilient group—many of whom gave up rites of passage, like prom and in-person graduation, to self-quarantine and protect those around them—can come back to the driving task with a renewed understanding of their profound responsibilities behind the wheel.

Our virtual joint event with SADD will take place on May 27, 2020, and we want to hear from parents and youth about the challenges and successes of returning to the road. We’ll also discuss resources that everyone can use to promote safer driving, whether they’re talking to peers, parents, or teens.

NTSB & SADD Transportation Safety Youth Leader Check-in

Teens, take care as you reenter the roadway. Don’t let your freedom from isolation end in unnecessary injury or death—for you or those around you. I know it will feel amazing to get back to some kind of normal, but don’t let your sacrifices of the past few months be in vain.

Motorcycle Safety: Your Mindset Makes All the Difference

By Chris O’Neil, Chief, NTSB Media Relations

Motorcycle Blog 1
The blog author makes a left-hand turn through a four-way intersection during a group ride. (Photo by Larry G. Carmon)

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and, although the number of motorcyclists killed in crashes dropped again in 2018, motorcycle riders remain overrepresented in overall highway traffic deaths. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, per miles traveled, motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than are passenger car occupants.

With that thought in mind, I want to discuss one of the most important factors in motorcycle safety—your mindset.

Revzilla recently posted an article by Lance Oliver that speaks to a rider’s mindset, and his piece really resonated with me in both my professional capacity here at the NTSB, and personally as a Harley Davidson rider. Essentially, Oliver says there are three things every rider should believe:

    1. Ride like everyone in a car is trying to kill you.
    2. Every crash is avoidable.
    3. When in a bad way in a curve, believe you can make it.

Every time we saddle up, we accept more risk than the average highway user. One way to mitigate that risk is to presume other motorists are going to do bad things at the worst possible moment, and to plan for that eventuality. I’m not saying motorists intentionally make bad decisions designed to harm you, but an ultra-defensive mindset can help you anticipate and plan for others’ actions that are beyond your control and that can potentially cause you serious bodily harm. Riding a motorcycle is akin to a moving chess match, where riders are scanning (search, evaluate, execute) 12 seconds ahead to think “what if?” and planning an escape route to safety or another plan of action to eliminate or mitigate a safety threat. Having a mindset that others’ driving can kill you isn’t pessimistic, it’s realistic.

Every crash is avoidable—which is why we at the NTSB say “crash” instead of “accident.” Having a mindset guided by the principle that crashes are preventable forces a rider to seek ways to identify risks and threats that could result in a crash, and to understand what to do to eliminate or mitigate the risks and threats to prevent or avoid the crash. This mindset begins before we throw a leg over our machine and can also be applied in trip/route planning (weather considerations, road conditions, experience level for intended route, etc.) and in bike maintenance (ensuring completion of a pre-ride T-CLOCS [tires/controls/lights/oil/chassis/stand]) for every ride. Believing every crash is avoidable leads good riders to continually examine how they ride and evaluate their skills to determine if they need refresher training. It should also force a good rider to evaluate completed rides, noting what could have been done better or more safely, or remembering actions they took that mitigated or eliminated a threat. Operating under the principle that crashes are preventable even influences motorcycle selection. Motorcyclists with an ultra-defensive mindset look for motorcycles with advanced stability control systems, antilock braking systems, and enhanced lighting that helps make the motorcycle more visible to other drivers.

One quick caveat here: the belief that every crash is avoidable does not absolve riders and their passengers from practicing ATGATT (all the gear, all the time), because, although avoidable, crashes still happen, and in 2018, they killed nearly 5,000 motorcyclists.

If adherence to the first two parts of the ultra-defensive mindset have failed to keep us from getting into the danger zone, Oliver’s third belief—you can make this—can mean the difference between coming home safely or taking a trip to the hospital. Oliver illustrates this third belief using the example of entering a curve with too much speed and succumbing to the fear that you won’t make it, then panicking or giving up. Oliver posits that, at that moment, it’s time to look farther ahead to the exit of the curve (at where you want to go, not at where you’re afraid of going), lean more, and work to make the curve. I believe riders can apply this mindset to a variety of emergent situations while riding, such as encountering road debris, washouts, standing water, or rain slickened tar snakes. How tightly a rider holds to this belief is likely to be tied to his or her level of riding experience, training, and confidence.

An ultra-defensive mindset can help novices and experienced riders alike consistently identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks and threats while still enjoying the unique freedom and exhilaration that come from riding a motorcycle. More than that, it can help them make it safely to their next ride.

Incentivizing Implementation of Collision Avoidance Technology through NCAP

By Member Michael Graham

I recently participated in my first NTSB Board meeting as a member. We deliberated the findings of a crash involving a Tesla that drove into a gore area and struck a crash attenuator on a highway in Mountain View, California, killing the driver. Although this investigation was focused on level 2 automation safety issues, we also discussed the building blocks of autonomous vehicles—collision avoidance systems (CAS). In this crash, the vehicle was equipped with forward collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB), elements of a CAS, but they were not designed for this kind of collision. Additionally, we discussed how testing protocols for CAS should be more demanding, and that one way to do that is through the National Highway Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), its 5-star safety rating system for new automobiles. During the Board meeting, we highlighted vehicle rating systems in other countries, especially the European NCAP (Euro NCAP), and how they could—and should—be a model for the United States.

March 23, 2018, crash of a Tesla in Mountain View, California
Northbound view of the Mountain View, California, crash scene before the Tesla was engulfed in flames. (Source: witness S. Engleman)

We believe a robust NCAP is vitally important for safety. A rating system helps manufacturers assess a vehicle’s crashworthiness, which is critical, but the NCAP can also be a great tool for consumers to assess which vehicles have advanced safety technologies and provide a guide for how they work. Additionally, such a rating system gives manufacturers an incentive to improve performance. A rating system that regularly increases the criteria for achieving a top score and promotes competition, compels automakers to continually improve the technology.

The US NCAP currently only provides crashworthiness (occupant protection) ratings; it doesn’t rate advanced safety technologies, such as FCW or AEB. These technologies are already on our roadways today and American consumers have no resources available to them to evaluate the effectiveness of collision avoidance technologies. Some consumers may even be totally unaware what CAS their automobiles come with.

In May 2015,  the NTSB released a report touting the benefits of CAS and recommended that NHTSA expand the NCAP 5-star rating system to include a scale that rates CAS technology such as FCW performance. It also recommended it include the ratings on the legally required Monroney label, a window sticker that provides official data about the vehicle to consumers. We were pleased to see that, shortly after the report was released, NHTSA proposed a rule for testing procedures that would be similar to the more comprehensive testing done by European regulators. More importantly, NHTSA proposed expanding the NCAP 5-star rating to include a CAS rating, as well as pedestrian protection rating. Unfortunately, NHTSA has yet to publish a final rule to make this proposal a reality. It has issued several requests for comments regarding various aspects of testing protocols, but hasn’t moved forward to implement expansion.

The Euro NCAP, which was developed in 2009—nearly 15 years after the US NCAP—offers crashworthiness ratings as well as ratings on pedestrian protection (including cyclists) and driver-assistance and crash-avoidance technologies. Its safety assist rating for CAS is determined from tests of AEB, lane keeping, seat belt warnings, speed warning systems, and others.  Euro NCAP ratings are displayed with the consumer in mind, with easy to read and compare pictures, diagrams and tables. There is currently no federal resource for rating CAS for US consumers

The Euro NCAP, as well as organizations in Australia and Japan, recognizes what we have long known: that car-to-car rear impacts are among the most frequent crash types, making it critical to rate technologies that address these safety issues. NHTSA has established test protocols and performance specifications for FCW and AEB as part of the US NCAP. For example, if a vehicle model is equipped with FCW or AEB, and has passed NHTSA’s minimum testing protocols, NHTSA’s website will state that such a vehicle may be equipped with those features; however, that only indicates that those systems have met NHTSA’s minimum performance criteria, and the vehicle only receives a pass or fail grade. CAS that meet the performance specifications are listed only as “recommended safety technologies” in the US NCAP. We know that various FCWs differ greatly in their performance—this pass/fail rating is not enough.

Additionally, although the US NCAP and the Euro NCAP use similar scenarios in their test protocols, the Euro NCAP uses a variety of targets, such as vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians; tests at a greater range of  speeds; and, most importantly, rates system performance. Our Mountain View report recommends that the US NCAP be expanded even further to test forward collision avoidance systems performance using common obstacles, such as traffic safety hardware, cross-traffic vehicle profiles, and other applicable vehicle shapes or objects found in the highway operating environment.

Without a US NCAP to rate collision avoidance technologies, US consumers have had to turn to insurance research organizations for this kind of information. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), for example, offers consumers vehicle reviews and ratings and issues its top safety picks. IIHS tests evaluate two aspects of safety: crashworthiness (how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash) and crash avoidance and mitigation (technology that can prevent a crash or lessen its severity). This is a great first step for consumers in the United States, but we need our regulators to step up and do the same.

The US NCAP has fallen behind its counterparts with respect to the safety information it provides to American consumers about CAS. We know that CAS can be very effective and can save lives, making it even more important to educate consumers about these critical technologies—their benefits as well as their limitations. That’s why this issue has been on the NTSB  Most Wanted List for several years now.

MWL07s_CollisionAvoidance

We urge NHTSA to again become a global leader by incorporating CAS and other safety performance measures in the US NCAP, and by adopting testing protocols for CAS in commercial vehicles and requiring them on all new heavy vehicles. European and other international organizations have figured out the importance of offering these expansive rating systems to help save lives and improve transportation safety. It’s time for the United States to catch up.

Open Roads are not a Reason to Speed

By Member Jennifer Homendy

This past week, law enforcement officials across the United States, including in Indiana, Minnesota, and Virginia, took to social media to express their concern about the increased number of motorists speeding on the nation’s currently less-crowded roads.

In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz reported that state officials have seen a “troubling surge” in traffic fatalities, even though stay-at-home orders have sharply reduced travel. The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety reports that there have been 24 fatal crashes in Minnesota since March 16, resulting in 28 deaths, compared to 12 crashes resulting in 13 deaths during the same time period last year.

Just because the roads are clear, doesn’t mean you can—or should—speed.

In 2017, we issued a report, Reducing Speeding-Related Crashes Involving Passenger Vehicles, which emphasized that speeding increases the likelihood of being involved in a crash and intensifies the severity of injuries sustained in a crash. Although research shows speeding impacts all road users, it’s particularly dangerous for the most vulnerable, such as pedestrians and bicyclists. As mentioned in our report, more than 40 percent of the more than 300,000 people who sustained nonfatal injuries due to speeding in 2014 were pedestrians, bicyclists, or occupants of nonspeeding vehicles.

Trying to save a few minutes to get to your destination, isn’t worth the risk of a crash. At this time, we should all be working together to lessen the burden on our already overtaxed law enforcement officials, emergency responders, and medical personnel. Don’t assume that because the roads are fairly empty these days, you’re safe to drive dangerously. If you must go out, be safe. We’re all in this together.

MWL05s_Speeding

Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Speeding-Related Crashes is on the NTSB 2019-2020 Most Wanted List.  

 

 

Flatten the Curve Beyond COVID-19

By Leah Walton, NTSB Safety Advocate

When I read the extended nationwide maximum telework order, prolonging the order that started on March 17th, I couldn’t help but think about what impact the COVID-19 preventive measures might have on traffic deaths around the country. Surely, we’ll see a drop in vehicle miles traveled, like we did in the last great recession, but will that give us a false sense of security that traffic safety has improved? The truth is, even though fewer people are driving, and we might see a drop in traffic fatalities in 2020 due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders, risky driving behaviors persist. On one hand, I’ve seen reports of drivers using the emptier-than-normal freeways as their personal racetracks, and on the other, I’ve seen reports of significantly lower drunk driving arrests in the month of March.

It’s encouraging to see so many people following state orders to implement social distancing and staying at home—if there are fewer people on the roads, there is less risk for vehicle-related injuries, which keeps people out of hospitals, allowing hospital workers to focus on the influx of coronavirus patients. However, this causes me to wonder: if people can be convinced to stay home to avoid contracting a dangerous and sometimes deadly virus, could they also be convinced to designate a sober driver or drive their vehicle at posted speeds? After all, those are lifesaving behaviors, as well.

 

As a transportation safety advocate, I know that motor vehicle crashes are a serious threat to public health in the United States. In 2018, 36,560 people were killed in traffic crashes. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that 1,894,000 people were injured in traffic crashes in the same year. According to NHTSA, 94 percent of all serious traffic crashes are the result of human error; or, in other words, they’re caused by a driver’s choices. We should not let the stress of COVID-19 lower our guard on safe driving practices. Remaining vigilant behind the wheel is critical now more than ever with children home from school, often playing outside, riding bikes in the streets. More people are out walking; sometimes in the street to practice social distancing of other pedestrians.

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The CDC has been promoting thorough handwashing procedures and the importance of covering a cough and sanitizing surfaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But did you know that the CDC also promotes motor vehicle safety behaviors like driving sober, buckling up, and not driving distracted?

We are extremely troubled by the increasing number of deaths and cases across our country related to COVID-19. Doctors, scientists, and public health professionals are all searching for a cure or a vaccine to eliminate this virus as quickly as possible. At the NTSB, we’re incredibly grateful for all those professionals—including those transporting vital supplies around the country. If Americans can choose to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19, imagine the impact we could have if everyone chose to make the safest driving choices for ourselves and our fellow road users. We have the power to flatten the curve of traffic deaths by making safe choices every day.

A Comprehensive Approach to Bicycle Safety

By Member Jennifer Homendy

Last fall, the National Transportation Safety Board released a report that made safety recommendations meant to improve safety for an important and growing segment of users on our roadways – bicyclists. The report issued 12 new safety recommendations and reiterated 10 safety recommendations.

Through NTSB’s 50+ years of accident investigation experience, we’ve long known that complex challenges, like reducing the number of vehicle-bicycle collisions, requires multi-faceted solutions. In the study, we looked at numerous countermeasures, including roadway design and infrastructure, reducing traffic speeds, collision avoidance systems and blind spot detection systems.

Homendy-bikePerhaps that is why I was disappointed to see the controversy within the cycling community surrounding one of the 22 recommendations discussed in the report – the singular recommendation about requiring the use of helmets. That debate overshadowed the many other important recommendations that largely focused on preventing collisions between vehicles and bicyclists in the first place, rather than mitigating their severity. As an avid cyclist myself, I am very aware of the hazards that exist for cyclists and share the community’s concern for improving bicycle safety on U.S. roadways.

Separated bike lanes and bike-friendly intersections are incorporated in the design of just a tiny fraction of U.S. roadways. So, we asked for more. The NTSB recommended that guidance provided to highway engineers, city planners and traffic designers, include resources that will help increase bike-friendly roadway improvements throughout the U.S.

Along with changes in infrastructure, the NTSB found that reducing traffic speeds can reduce the likelihood of fatal or serious bicycle injuries. Lowering speed limits is part of a safe systems approach that was also discussed in our 2017 safety study on reducing speeding-related crashes.

Collision avoidance systems are broadly effective in helping motorists detect and avoid other vehicles and some automakers have begun adding systems to detect bicyclists and pedestrians.  To encourage manufacturers to include these systems in their new vehicles, and to assist auto buyers in making safety-conscious purchasing decisions, the NTSB recommended that bicycle detection systems be incorporated into the 5-Star Safety Ratings.

The NTSB also recommended that newly manufactured large trucks be equipped with blind spot detection systems, because large vehicles have bigger blind spots that make it difficult, or even impossible, in some situations for their drivers to see bicyclists.

And as a Board Member, I will continue to push for the implementation of safety recommendations on the NTSB’s Most Wanted List that would help make streets safer for bicyclists – including eliminating distractions, reducing fatigue-related accidents, ending alcohol and other drug impairment, increasing implementation of collision avoidance systems and reducing speed-related crashes.

Member Homendy Bike Safety Study Board Meeting

Implementation of our recommendations would dramatically improve the safety of our roadways for bicyclists. But prevention or avoidance will sometimes fail and mitigating the severity of crashes will help save lives. That basic premise of transportation safety, supported by data on fatalities from head injuries, prompted our call for helmets for bicyclists.

The NTSB’s approach to bicyclist safety is comprehensive, multi-faceted and fact-based. All the safety recommendations, when implemented, would help save lives by preventing collisions from happening, and by reducing the severity of those that do.

2019-2020 Most Wanted List Midpoint Review

By Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt

MWL List

What do you call 125 participants in an NTSB Most Wanted List (MWL) mid-point progress meeting, each of whom has their own idea of a transportation safety goal to achieve by the end of the year?

An excellent start.

On February 4, the NTSB hosted attendees from government, industry, and the advocacy community to discuss progress on the 2019-2020 MWL. The conversations were productive and lively, and there was one thing we all agreed on: we need to achieve more in 2020.

Many people believe the NTSB’s work is done when an investigation has been completed, and we’ve determined the probable cause of an accident. But finding out what happened and why it happened is just half the equation.

The second half is arguably the most important part of our investigations: After determining the what and why, we issue safety recommendations aimed at correcting the deficiencies we uncovered, and thus, preventing similar accidents from happening again.

Even then, our work is still not complete. Recommendations must be implemented by their recipients before they begin to save lives. Therefore, part of our work is to highlight these recommendations and advocate for their implementation.

Board members, safety advocates and other NTSB staff are dedicated to fostering the cooperation necessary to ensure those life-saving recommendations are implemented, so the issues can be addressed and ultimately solved.

The MWL was conceived in 1990 and is the NTSB’s premiere advocacy product. It groups together unimplemented safety recommendations under broad topic areas that we refer to as issue areas. Issues placed on the list are selected from safety recommendations and emerging areas, and are based on the magnitude of risk, potential safety benefits, timeliness, and probability of advocacy efforts to bring about change. Simply put, MWL issue areas are those that we believe need the most attention to prevent accidents, reduce injuries, and save lives.

Up until 2017, the MWL was updated annually. That year, we went to a biennial list, with the provision that we conduct a mid-point progress review. And that, of course, is why we gathered on February 4. The purpose of the meeting was to receive input from stakeholders on where the current list is going, what are the impediments to implementing these recommendations, and what we can do better to advocate successful implementation of these recommendations. It was a day for us at the NTSB to listen to input and feedback.

Prior to the midpoint meeting, only 31 NTSB safety recommendations had been implemented out of 268 targeted in this MWL cycle. Implementing these 31 recommendations will make transportation safer by improving pipeline, aviation, railroad, marine, and highway safety. But as attendees of our mid-point evaluation agreed, implementation of these 31 recommendations, while welcome, is just not enough.

Member Jennifer Homendy and Robert Hall, Director of our Office of Railroad, Pipeline, and Hazardous Materials Investigations, guided the breakout session for that mode. Dana Schulze, Director of NTSB’s Office of Aviation Safety and I facilitated the conversations in the aviation breakout session. The marine safety session was headed-up by Morgan Turrell, Deputy Director of our Office of Marine Safety. And finally, Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg took the highway safety discussion, joined by Rob Molloy, Director of our Office of Highway Safety.

Here are some of the thoughts that our attendees contributed:

  • Support efforts in the states to strengthen traffic safety laws to address issues like speeding, distracted and impaired driving and seat belt use.
  • Not every solution is a regulatory solution; work with industry and advocates to move toward voluntary compliance to get the required change done.
  • Increase and improve data collection.
  • Be proactive rather than reactive—through increased coordination between the NTSB, agencies, and industry.
  • Identify and promote industry best practices; to make change, it helps to see, hear, and learn from others who have accomplished the task.
  • Increase dialogue between the NTSB and industry outside of the context of accidents through preliminary recommendation communication, site visits, and board member meetings.
  • Creating a safety culture (in business) and addressing negative social norms (in public) are perhaps the most critical steps needed to improve transportation safety overall.
  • NTSB can play a key role in bringing all the key players together, promoting dialogue, and encouraging change.

NTSB recommendations, when implemented, can help to prevent unnecessary deaths, injuries, and property damage. The recommendation that is implemented today could be the life that is saved tomorrow. So, the voices of those closest to the battle for implementation—including the attendees at the midpoint progress meeting—are invaluable.

Time will tell how many critical MWL advances can be achieved by year’s end. I hope it’s all of them.